From the 406th Judicial District Court, Webb County, Texas
Trial Court No. 2012-CVL-000402-D4
Honorable Oscar J. Hale, Jr., Judge Presiding
On January 13, 2016, appellant filed a motion to appoint appellate counsel, motion to order trial transcripts, and motion for informa pauperis. In his motion, appellant, who appears to be pro se, states he does not have an appellate attorney and his appointed trial counsel refuses to communicate with him. In a termination of parental rights proceeding, an attorney appointed shall represent the parent until the earliest of the date the suit affecting the parent-child relationship is dismissed, the date all appeals in relation to any final order terminating parental rights are exhausted or waived, or the date the attorney is relieved of his duties by the court or replaced by other counsel. TEX. FAM. CODE § 107.016(2)(B) (West 2014). Therefore, appellant's appointed trial counsel must continue to represent appellant until the trial court allows withdrawal upon a finding of good cause. Id.; TEX. R. APP. P. 6.5.
Moreover, under Texas law, a parent is entitled to court-appointed counsel if he is indigent. See TEX. FAM. CODE § 107.013. Thus, appellant was clearly indigent at trial. Once appellant was determined by the trial court to be indigent, he is presumed to remain indigent for the duration of the suit and any subsequent appeal. See TEX. R. APP. P. 20.1(a)(3). Our records do not indicate, nor have we been advised of any finding by the trial court, that appellant's financial circumstances have changed. Accordingly, appellant is presumed indigent.
Based on the foregoing, we DENY the motions as moot. See TEX. FAM. CODE § 107.013 & 107.016(2)(B).
Marialyn Barnard, Justice
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of the said court on this 21st day of January, 2016.
Keith E. Hottle
Clerk of Court